Academics
Areas of Study

Overview

Public Health is a science concerned with promoting and protecting health in individuals, families, communities and entire populations through such measures as disease prevention, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research on epidemics and infectious diseases. The BSPH prepares students to work in a number of health-related fields or enter graduate or professional school. Public Health professionals with this degree are in increasing demand for employment by government agencies and private organizations as public health analysts, health care managers, patient educators, risk assessors, and occupational health and safety technicians.

Courses & Requirements

Summary of Requirements

2022-2023
Core Curriculum 43
Pre-Major Courses 11
Major and Related Courses 70
Free Elective Courses 12
TOTAL 136*

*Category totals do not add up to 120 because required pre-major and major courses overlap with GSR requirements. For MAT 130, three hours count toward the general studies requirement, replacing GSR 104. For BIO 201, four hours count toward the general studies requirement, replacing GSR 230.

 

Required pre-major courses 11 credits

This course covers the fundamentals of biomolecules, cell physiology, respiration and photosynthesis, and genetics. In laboratory, students will develop and test hypotheses by designing their own experiments to better understand different biological concepts. Students will also learn how to use a microscope and pipettors and will write laboratory reports in the same format as professional journal articles. This is one of two courses of introductory biology for science majors. BIO107 and BIO108 can be taken in either order. BIO 107 and BIO 108 are designed for students who want to major in biology or another science, or who plan to attend dental, veterinary, or medical school after graduation. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

This course covers the fundamentals of evolution, comparative biodiversity, human and animal anatomy and physiology, and ecology and environmental science. In laboratory, students will develop and test hypotheses by designing their own experiments to better understand different biological concepts. Students will also learn how to use computer simulation models to predict outcomes, grow and enumerate bacteria and plants, and write laboratory reports in the same format as professional journal articles. This is one of two courses of introductory biology for science majors. BIO107 and BIO108 can be taken in either order. BIO 107 and BIO 108 are designed for students who want to major in biology or another science, or who plan to attend dental, veterinary, or medical school after graduation. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

An introduction to the scientific study of human behavior, providing an overview of the major issues, methods, and contributions of psychology. Content areas include development, language, learning, cognition, physiological psychology intelligence, and abnormal and social psychology.

Required Chemistry courses 4 credits

Designed for science majors, this is the first of a two-semester sequence and is designed to help students become familiar with the properties and reactions of matter. This course will also address modern applications of these concepts. Specific topics for this course include: observation of properties and changes, scientific method, unit conversions and measurements, chemical formulas, balancing equations, predicting products and yields, reactions and reaction types, the Ideal Gas Law, thermodynamics, molecular and atomic structure of matter, and orbital hybridization.

A laboratory course to accompany CHE 107, this course enables students to develop skills appropriate to the first-year chemistry course for science majors. Experiments for this course include: observation of properties and changes, measurements, observing activities and reactions for the various types of reactions, obtaining quantitative and qualitative information regarding products, and the use of computer simulations.

Required Mathematics Course 4 credits

Note: Three hours count toward the general studies requirement, replacing GSR 104.

This course emphasizes the meaning and application of the concepts of functions. It covers polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions and their graphs, trigonometric identities. Passing both MAT 125 and 126 is equivalent to passing MAT 130.

Required Biology Courses 16 credits

Note: BIO 201 replaces GSR 230 General Studies Requirement

This course will provide an overview of descriptive and experimental research methods in the sciences. Topics include research design and methodology, statistical analyses, responsible conduct of research, the use of animal and human subjects, and the critical analysis of published peer-reviewed research reports. Students will work in groups to design a research project, collect and analyze pilot data, and present the results. Development of scientific writing skills will be emphasized. Four hours of lecture per week.

This course provides an overview of modern genetics, including classical Mendelian genetics, molecular genetics, genomics, and population genetics. Laboratory activities will introduce students to basic statistical and computational techniques and tools, organisms used in genetics laboratories including E. coli and Drosophila melanogaster, and wet lab techniques including gel lectrophoresis, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and DNA fingerprinting using STR polymorphism analysis. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

The first part of a two-semester course sequence, this course will study the various systems of the body from a combined anatomical and physiological standpoint, with laboratory experiments which illustrate their structure and function. Students will develop their critical thinking skills by analyzing hypothetical problems relating to anatomy and physiology; many of these problems will have medical applications. The first semester will focus on the following organ systems: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous and special sensory. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

The second part of a two-semester course sequence, this course will cover the remaining physiological systems of the body Students will develop their critical thinking skills by analyzing hypothetical problems relating to anatomy and physiology; many of these problems will have medical applications. This semester will focus on the following organ systems: endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary and male and female reproductive systems. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

Required Public Health Core Courses 28 credits

This is an introductory course in probability and statistics for science and information technology students. It covers basic concepts of probability and statistics, frequency distributions, graphical methods, measures of central tendency and variability, counting principles, Bayes' theorem, discrete and normal probability distributions, linear regression models, correlation, central limit theorem, sampling variability, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. Applications to different fields are included throughout.

This course provides an overview of the goals, functions, and methods of public health. After an introduction to the core concepts and tools used in public health research and practice, applications of these methodologies are considered in the context of five current controversies/problems in public health. Students work together to develop strategies for prevention and control that take into consideration different points of view, outside research, and impacts on individuals and communities.

This course provides a survey of health policy and management, a multi-disciplinary field of inquiry and practice concerned with the delivery, quality and costs of health care for individuals and populations. The course is designed to give students a basic understanding of American health care organization, financing and policy.

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health and illness in human populations and the application of methods that seek to describe and, ultimately, improve health outcomes. Consequently, epidemiology is often considered the basic science of public health. This course is designed to introduce students to the history, basic principles, and methods of epidemiology. Topics covered in this course are history and background of epidemiology, measures of disease frequency, measures of association, epidemiologic study designs, screening, outbreak investigations, and assessment of causality. Examples from domestic and international settings are included. In addition, students will develop skills to critically read, interpret, and evaluate health information from published epidemiological studies and mass media sources.

This course is intended to serve as an introduction to the major issues of environmental health science with a focus on the United States, although global health issues are considered as well. We will examine what those issues are, what determines them, and how they can be altered. As a survey of the many facets of environmental health, the course provides a broad overview for students wishing introduction to the field, as well as good grounding for students who wish to pursue additional coursework in environmental health.

This course will prepare the student for the public health internship experience. Topics covered include general issues in fieldwork in public health, agency systems and policies, diversity issues in public health settings, ethical and legal issues, interpersonal and professional relationships in public health work settings, career options in public health, and the appropriate use of interpreters in internship settings. Emphasis will be placed on students' understanding of their personal, social, and cultural identity in the context of health and well-being and the impact on their future work in health care settings.

The purpose of the internship is to enable students to gain practical experience under conditions conducive to educational and professional development. The internship is a time-limited, supervised period of community health/public health activities, carried out in a related professional organization or agency. Each intern will report to a site supervisor at the host organization who will oversee the student's experience and provide structure and mentorship throughout the internship. The course instructor must approve the internship before registration for this course.

One of the defining characteristics of deaf health in the U.S. is a wide gap in deaf health outcomes compared to the general population. This course is designed to help students explore three issues: 1) deaf health inequalities, disparities, and inequities 2) why they exist, and 3) how to intervene against health disparities in the deaf community. Students first explore resources and strategies for documenting deaf health disparities. With this knowledge, students then turns to the question of how deaf health disparities come into being via inaccessibility, communication barriers, and power imbalances, among other things.

This course is for STM majors who are in their last year of the program. Students will produce two major products: (1) a grant proposal to a national or private agency and (2)interdisciplinary group project. In addition, students will discuss future career plans,examine contributions of different deaf scientists to science, and engage in discussions on science ethics and science literacy.

Behavioral and Community Health Concentration Required Courses 9 credits

This course provides an overview of health-related challenges facing individuals in today's connected and globalized world. Health issues will be approached from both individual and community perspectives with a focus on concepts of wellness and prevention. Emphasis will be placed on individual decision-making and understanding of biological, social, environmental, and other factors affecting health and wellness. We will also study the role of health behaviors and how they contribute to healthier lives.

This course introduces students to the theory and application of community-based health promotion program planning and evaluation. Concepts in community assessment, organization, and mobilization for the purposes of addressing identified public health concerns serve as the foundation for the planning process. Techniques of community partnership building, planning strategies, data collection, data analysis, and evidence-based decision-making will also be introduced.

This course discusses research into the ways behavior, mental states, culture, and physical health interact. Factors underlying health, disease, prevention and treatment occur within cultural contexts that affect our views, behaviors, lifestyles and approaches will be explored. This course will also examine how socio-cultural settings in America influences development, health beliefs, and health behaviors.

Public Health Electives 9 credits

Choose 9 credits from the following:

This course covers the building blocks of basic medical terminology. The relationship of word parts to their anatomical counterparts will be studied. Rules for combining word parts into complete medical terms will be emphasized. The correct contextual use of terms will be emphasized throughout the course. Such understanding will facilitate learning of scientific and medical principles encountered during more advanced career preparation.

A general survey of the microorganisms, with emphasis on their morphology, physiology, growth, and methods of isolation and identification. Laboratory activities will introduce students to wet lab techniques including staining and microscopy, pipetting, streaking, preparing media, spread and pour plating, serial dilutions, plate count assays, metabolic tests for identification of bacteria, bacterial transformations and phage stock preparation. Three hours of lecture and two two-hour laboratories per week

We will study nutrition science, focusing on issues that currently affect Americans today including: the current obesity epidemic, fad diets, popular supplements, energy drinks, and fast food and their effects on our nutritional health. Our objective is to teach students the following lifelong skills: how to analyze popular diets and supplements, how to perform a nutrition self-analysis and analyze BMI and body fat percentage, how to lose weight effectively and safely, and how to develop a healthy, nutritious meal plan for yourself and your family.

This course will discuss the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of infectious diseases and the mechanisms by which microorganisms subvert host defenses and cause infections, resulting in tissue damage and perhaps death. Students will study the epidemiology, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment and prevention of infectious diseases caused by bacteria and viruses. This course will also cover a number of case studies giving students an opportunity to diagnosis patients suffering from infectious diseases.

This course is cross-listed and is otherwise known as BIO 711. An in-depth examination of the mechanisms involved in producing genetic variation in humans and medical/clinical aspects of genetic variation and disease. Topics include human cytogenetics and chromosomal disorders, nontraditional inheritance, genetic counseling, and the ethical, legal, and social impact of genetics technology. Hereditary variations in deaf people are also discussed. Three hours of lecture per week.

This course is cross-listed and is otherwise known as HSL 785. This course provides the student with a better understanding of pharmacology from chemical and biochemical perspectives. The areas covered in this course include: classifications of drugs, routes of ingestion, chemical and biochemical structures of medications, metabolism of drugs, effects of drugs, and the relationship between the structures of some drugs and the structures of some important chemicals in the body. The course also covers material specifically related to ototoxic medications.

This course involves a critical study of the development, scope, influence, and theories of mass communication in America.

An intensive examination of relationships among policy goals, policy strategies, and policy outcomes that lead to the allocation of societal resources (who gets what, when, where, and how). This course will identify the relationship between policy outcomes and the political institutions, political parties, interest groups, lobbyists, and the political environment.

This course includes a study of quality of life components to assist students in realizing their maximal personal potential and taking responsibility for maintaining and improving the quality of life through their life span. The course emphasizes both the acquisition of knowledge and the practical application of the dimensions of wellness through participation in a program of planned activities for the development of a healthy lifestyle.

Students will study the immediate and long-range effects of physical activity on the functions of the human body. Special attention is focused on physical fitness, metabolism, training and conditioning, nutrition, environment, athletic aids, and the sex of the participant.

This course is an introduction to the field of medical ethics and the kinds of decisions individuals and families make about health care and treatment options. Students will look at current issues such as kinds of treatment and their effects, allocation of health care resources, ethical issues of health care professionals, managed care decisions, and end of life decisions. Students will apply philosophical theories of ethics to these issues and develop perspectives on health care decision making.

Bioethics is a branch of applied ethics, which in turn is a part of the philosophical field of ethics. Bioethics applies ethical theory to issues in the biological sciences, including scientific research and healthcare. This course introduces major theoretical approaches to bioethics and applies them to topics of interest to the deaf community, including (but not limited to) eugenics, cochlear implant surgery, and genetic technology. Bioethics theories and concepts covered will include informed consent, research ethics, individual and group rights, surrogate decision-making, quality of life, genetic enhancement versus gene therapy, and wrongful life. The potential impact of new and emerging technologies on the deaf community will also be discussed.

Global health encompasses research and practice with a focus on improving health and attaining quality and equitable health for all people. This course provides an overview of health-related challenges facing individuals in today's connected and globalized world. Health issues will be approached from both individual and community perspectives with a focus on concepts of wellness and prevention. Emphasis will be placed on individual decision-making and understanding of biological, social, environmental, and other factors affecting health and wellness. We will also study the role of health behaviors and how they contribute to healthier lives. This course will have some purposeful overlap with PHS 203: Community Health but will look at health through a global lens.

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for sophomores. Students may enroll in 295 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for juniors. Students may enroll in 395 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for seniors who are majors or minors. Students may enroll in 495 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

Under supervision of a faculty member, a student will prepare a paper on a special topic or conduct a research project involving the collection of data and preparation of a report.

In this course, students will examine major models of human development across the lifespan. Biological and psychological approaches will be used to examine physical, cognitive, and social development from conception to death. Specific attention will be paid to cultural and ethnic diversity in development.

A course on the developmental aspects of human sexuality in the context of human relationships. The course will include the social and learned influences on the development of gender identity and sexual orientation, a review of the anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system, human sexual response, modes of sexual expression, values clarification, sexual responsibility, human sexual dysfunction, and sexual adjustment during pregnancy, illness, and aging.

This course explores the concepts of race, ethnicity, and culture as they pertain to the study of psychology. We will make use of social, cognitive, and developmental psychological theories to explore what it means to live in a multicultural society. We will evaluate the construct of race, how children and adults come to make sense of race, and what utility it has for psychologists. We will examine how culture shapes our values, worldviews, and the ways we communicate with one another. We will examine how and why individuals stereotype, how stereotypes affect behavior, and how privilege and discrimination shape the lived experiences of racial and ethnic minorities as well as members of dominant groups. We will also examine the intersection of multiple social identities (e.g. what does it mean to be a Latina, lesbian woman.)

The course considers social structure, cultural, and demographic components of physical and mental illness. Stages of illness behavior, from prevalence of symptoms and recognition of them to recovery or death, will be identified, and the social and cultural determinants of each stage will be discussed. The health care system and problems in health care delivery will be considered.

This is the first part of a two-semester course sequence. This course combines an intensive study of the principles of grammar and usage of the language with basic vocabulary building, reading, composition, and translation of elementary texts. A contrastive grammar approach will be incorporated, drawing upon elements of English and ASL. Students will also be exposed to aspects of the target culture(s), including information on Deaf communities abroad. When offered face to face, the course has four hours of classroom instruction plus an additional, required weekly hour in the department¿s Learning Laboratory. When offered on-line or as hybrid, the lab hour is part of the on-line component.

This course prepares the student in one of the helping professions to understand the primary issues related to the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs, including narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and marijuana. The impact of drug use on the individual, the family, and society will be examined, including the psychological ramifications of children of alcoholics and drug abusers. Emphasis will be on the development of intervention skills and identifying the person who is abusing chemicals. Knowledge of community resources and programs, with attention given to accessibility to deaf substance abusers, will be covered.

The course examines human behavior from conception through very old age. Throughout the course, the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional growth of individuals and families (micro systems) are studied. Each aspect of development is examined in the context of the environment's influence upon optimal growth. Additionally, attention is given to the interplay among culture, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity upon human behavior through the life course.

This course provides students an opportunity for examination of personal attitudes, stereotypes, biases, and misconceptions that affect ethnic-competent professional practice. Attention is given to increasing students' knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and sensitivity to diversity, oppression, and racism, and the implications of each for social work and other human services. While the course addresses the cognitive and conceptual aspects of learning, primary emphasis is on the affective process. In addition to learning about racism, discrimination, power/powerlessness, and ethnocentrism, students participate in experiential groups and role play. These exercises provide opportunities to explore new ways of thinking, feeling, and responding to people who experience discrimination or oppression because of their race, ethnic background, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation, or because they are deaf or hard of hearing.

Comparative study of three of the largest Latino communities in the United States: Chicanos, Cuban-Americans, and Puerto Ricans. Topics will include an exploration of the cultural identities of each of these communities, focusing notions of ethnicity, race, religion, as well as economic and social class distinctions. Taught in English.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the degree requirements in public health, all students are expected to demonstrate their ability to:

 

      identify and describe core scientific concepts underlying disease prevention, environmental protection, and health promotion.

 

      identify and define public health problems from a global and interdisciplinary perspective.·        

 

      synthesize scientific knowledge to formulate solutions to public health problems.

 

      apply scientific knowledge to inform effective public health policy.

 

      demonstrate effective communication with varied public health audiences (including Deaf people) and media by: providing clear explanations of complicated health and medical information; demonstrating substantial understanding via research, credible sources and supporting evidence; demonstrating audience-appropriate cultural competence, purpose, agenda, language, and style. 

 

      demonstrate preparation for future career and educational goals by: awareness of personal competencies (strengths and weaknesses); ability work in a team to accomplish a goal; understanding of professional and ethical behavior.

 

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B.S. In Public Health

Caroline Solomon

Hall Memorial Building N318

(202) 250-2370

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